The quick Final Girls review: Pleasantville meets Scream.
The Pleasantville angle: Max (Taissa Farmiga, American Horror Story) is the daughter of actress Amanda (Malin Akerman, Watchmen), who is known mainly for her one role in the cheesy horror film, Camp Bloodbath. Years after her mom dies in a car crash she survived, Max and friends attend an anniversary showing of the slasher flick. Mid-movie, the theater catches fire. Max and pals cut through the screen, hoping to escape backstage, but instead ending up in the film itself. It’s a fun conceit, and since the kids know what happens throughout the film, they are forced to go with the flow and hopefully ride it out until they can return to the real world.
The Scream angle: The kids not only know Camp Bloodbath, but understand the horror tropes themselves. For example, they, too, must avoid the traps that attract the machete-wielding killer: Nudity, sex, drinking, drugs, general stupidity. For some, it ends up being harder than it sounds. The gang uses some cliches to their advantage, such as the flashback, while doing their best to battle through others, such as the slow-mo shown above. Eventually, Max is the last kid standing, the titular final girl who must do battle with mad killer Billy Murphy, a duel to the death.
Director Todd Strauss-Schulson balances the humor and blood deftly, and the casting – including Adam Devine (Workaholics, Pitch Perfect), Alexander Ludwig (Hunger Games), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), etc. – is spot-on. If you’re a fan of comedic horror or the horror genre in general, The Final Girls is worth a watch.